Photographing a country on the brink

by Kitty Drake in January 2020
Share on Facebook, Twitter or Copy Link
Art & design Photography

No one really wants to talk about national identity right now in the UK — it feels like pressing on a bruise. Loupe, a photography magazine based in London, has decided to base its entire 10th issue around the subject though, and the results are strangely compelling. The opening series by Olli Hellmann, shows people staring, pathetically, over the white cliffs of Dover. In the accompanying essay by an “Anonymous Westminster Insider”, the “dazed, vacant expressions of those peering over the cliffs into the void” are compared to the “platitudes offered up by various proponents of the Brexit project”.


Another rather wonderful response to Brexit comes from photographer Tristan Poyser. Poyser invited 400 members of the public to tear a photograph of the EU/ UK border in two. Dreamy and dark green, the landscape pictured is a bend in the border as it follows a stream dipping in and out of County Fermanagh and County Monaghan.

Further afield there are photographs of Gibraltar, which at two and a half square miles and with a population of just over 30,000 is one of the smallest nations on earth. The inspiration is Yanito — the creative mixture of Spanish, English, Hebrew and Italian — spoken by Gibraltarians. One picture shows a block of flats strewn with an indiscriminate mix of bunting, UK-flags and Gibraltarian flags. The mish-mash — in our frighteningly nationalistic context — is jaunty, and rather heartening.

Close Icon

Join our magazine club! Subscribe to Stack and every month we'll pick a different independent title and deliver it to your door. You never know what you'll get next...

Subscribe now